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Tuesday, 14 November 2006 - No. 104
1Casa Topical Digest of News and Views from the Andalucia Area in Spain
Capital Gains Tax changes for 2007
Legislation to reduce Capital Gains Tax for non-residents from 35% to 18% (and increase it for residents from 15% to 18%) has been approved by the Spanish Government. These new regulations also reduce the withholding provision that non-residents pay when selling property in Spain from 5% to 3%, the new regulations come into force in January 2007.
Fourth Phase of the Approach to the Convento de las Flores
The Ayuntamiento of Alora has put out to tender the fourth phase of the works to extend the pavement on the road to the Convento de la Virgen de Flores, which will improve pedestrian access between the urban area and the Convento for the many people who use this road daily. The work will include steel work to the side of the road and the installation of street lighting. The budget for the work is 91,000 Euros, with a time limit of two months.
Car Parking in Alora
In the face of the growing car parking problems, Alora's mayor, Jose Sanchez Moreno, has announced that there are currently two private companies who intend to build car parks in the town centre. The bigger of the two car parks is to be created in the Cancula residential and commercial centre where the Ayuntamiento has already sold the land to Akprom, who manage the centre, so that they can create the 250 planned spaces, most of which will be public. The other car park, in Avenida de Miguel de Cervantes, will have capacity for 50 spaces, however, most will be sold to residents. The mayor also announced that, for the time being, the Ayuntamiento would not be going ahead with the construction of a public car park at the entrance to the town due to the high costs involved but that they are looking into other options, particularly in the San Paulino area near where the new health centre is being built.
Alora's Library Celebrates its 40th Anniversary
Most people know that there is a municipal library in Alora, but many do not know that is one of the oldest and important of the province of Malaga. This year the public library celebrates its fortieth anniversary, a long journey, in which it has had 3 headquarters, including Calle Negrillos and its present location in the Casa de Cultura.
A Festival Not to Miss!
The first Festival de Exaltación del Cante por Malaguenas (Malaguena Singing Festival) takes place in the Cervantes Theatre, Alora next Friday 17 November from 9.00 pm. Tickets are available from Wednesday 15 November between 7.00 pm and 9.00 pm.
New Water Management Measures for the Costa del Sol
The Costa del Sol, in the drought-affected south, is to receive 234 million Euros from the regional government for new water treatment plants and recycling measures. The towns and villages of Alora, Cartama, Coin, Pizarra, Alhaurin el Grande and Alhaurin de la Torre will all benefit after their councils signed a deal with Malaga's local authority. Proposals include the building of a pipeline through the Cerro-Blanco Atabal to use the water in the Rio Grande, and the improvement of a water treatment plant at Guadalhorce. Half the cash will be used to recycle waste water on golf courses and for irrigation and in addition the regional government will stop all new developments in Andalucia that do not make their own provisions for supplying water.
Pizarra's Mayor to Stand Down in May 2007
Zacarias Gomez, Pizarra's mayor, has announced that he will stand down at the municipal elections in May 2007. The outgoing mayor has served on the town council for 16 years, 10 of them as mayor. IU (Izquierda Unida), party officials announced last week that they will hold a public vote on 3 December, which will be open to all Pizarra residents, to help shape the party's candidate list for the forthcoming elections.
Cartama now has a series of reconditioned and sign-posted local hiking trails. Last week officials inaugurated the latest of three new trails, a 10-kilometre route in the Sierra de los Espartales, which is open to walkers and horse riders, while the other two trails, at Camino de las Cruces and Torrealqueria, are already being used by walkers and mountain bikers.
Water Warning for Malaga Province
Malaga will likely need to double the water reserves for the province currently projected in the new Urban Plans within ten years to meet the growing demand on the Costa del Sol, a new report says that consumption will increase by 147% by the year 2017 as a million new homes are constructed, these new figures claimed that 400,000 homes already projected in the large towns have no guaranteed water supply and that new golf courses were in the same position.
Rain Improves Malaga's Reservoir Levels
The recent rains in the province have added at least eight weeks worth of water to the local reservoirs, according to the Ministry of the Environment. The reservoirs in Malaga province increased by 21.7 cubic hectometers last week to now hold 182.1 in total, which is 30.2% of their total capacity. La Vinuñela is now 48.5% full, with the La Concepcion at 83%, while at the other end of the scale the Limonero remains at just 9.8% capacity. The levels are now higher than at this time last year. The Ministry also considers that the price of water in Spain is too cheap, and should be increased by approximately 30%.
New Archaeological Dig Unearths Large 11th Century Muslim Settlement in Malaga
An archaeological dig in three of Malaga streets, Calvo, Cerezuela and Segura, has revealed the presence of a Muslim settlement dating from the 11th and 12th centuries. The site has remains of houses and streets in an area where two new hotels and shops are planned. The dig reveals the extent of the development of Middle Age Malaga outside the walls of the Medina itself. One of the houses shows several rooms off a central patio. When the excavations are complete a report will be sent to the regional government which will decide whether the site should be protected.
Locals File Lawsuit Against Regional Government
Residents in Lanjaron have filed a lawsuit against the regional government for allowing a mineral water company to extract 864,000 litres of water daily from a local river. Aguas de Lanjaron claims it needs the water from the Rio Lanjaron for industrial use, however, locals in the Alpujarra spa town and ecologists fear the river is in danger of drying up as the company takes the equivalent of 10 ten litres of water per second from it. Now, judges in Granada have given the green light to local groups who oppose the plan to take legal proceedings after magistrates at the instruction court 7 allowed a lawsuit to be filed against the Junta de Andalucía, the residents argue studies were made which showed the plan was unviable and potentially damaging to the environment – before the regional government gave their permission for the extraction.
Bonnie and Clyde Re-born?
The step-daughter of a Spanish actress has been remanded in custody in Jaen in connection with a series of armed bank robberies in the Granada province. Diana Patricia Martin Romhild, 38, was arrested on 24 October after a dramatic high speed car chase which involved officers from four police forces and the Guardia Civil. Police believe Martin Romhild, who is the stepdaughter of Concha Velasco (who has appeared in more than 70 films including 2003’s Oro de Moscu) and the daughter of theatre impresario Paco Marso, acted as getaway driver in at least two of the four bank robberies that have hit the villages of Cuevas del Campo and Fraila in the north of the Granada province since August.
Police also arrested Enrique Lorente, the partner of Martin Romhild, as he is alleged to have carried out all four raids, which have netted the couple 55,000 Euros and more than 5,000 Pounds in their 9 week crime spree, the pair, dubbed “Bonnie and Clyde” by locals, robbed banks to help pay off their business debts. They allegedly owe 100,000 Euros through their art print company Mas Arte. Their arrest came shortly after Lorente, 48, had stolen 33,000 Euros from the Caja Granada bank in Cuevas del Campo, the second raid on the bank in as many months.
Early Roman Shipwreck Shares its Secrets
A wrecked first-century ship carrying delicacies to the rich of the Roman Empire has proved an amazing find, with nearly 2,000-year-old fish bones still nestling inside clay jars. Boaters found its cargo of hundreds of amphoras in 2000 when their anchor got tangled with one of the two-handled jars. After years of arranging financing and crews, exploration of the site a mile off the coast of Alicante began in July. The ship, estimated to be 100 feet long with a capacity for around 400 tons of cargo, is believed to be twice the size of most other Roman shipwrecks found in the Mediterranean. Its cargo of around 1,500 well-preserved clay amphoras was used in this case to hold fish sauce, a prized commodity for wealthy Romans. For nearly 2,000 years, the 3-foot-tall amphoras lay undisturbed except for the occasional octopus that would pry one open in search of food.
Apart from the size of the ship and good condition of its cargo, the site is also important because it is so easily accessible, lying in 80 feet of water about a mile from the coast. Other wrecks are so deep they cannot be examined by scuba divers.
Valencia House Prices Continue to Rise
Prices have soared in Valencia as it prepares to host the world’s most prestigious yacht race, the race has speeded up the expansion of the metro – which has four lines, serves the city centre well and is currently extending further out into the provinces – to the airport, which is getting a much-needed second runway, new hotels are being built quickly too, now a five-lane, one-way road system links the port to the city centre, replacing the previous traffic-clogged artery, Valencia is really moving forward, house prices will also move...upwards.
Turkish and Spanish Prime Minister's Meet Before Islamic-Western Friendship Talks
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero met his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday ahead of talks on nurturing friendship between Islamic societies and the West, the leaders attended a meeting on Monday of the Alliance of Civilisations, an initiative which they launched last year to foster respect and dialogue between Islamic and Western societies. A group of high-level representatives in the organisation had gathered ahead of Monday’s meeting in the Ciragan palace, an old Ottoman site that now houses a luxury hotel.
Spain's Government Promises New Law for the Protection of Animals
The Government is to create a new law for the protection of animals in Spain. The plans were made public after a meeting in the Moncloa Palace with El Refugio, the animal protection society. The statement from the Government said it had a ‘clear will to eradicate and pursue the maltreatment of animals’ and a new law would be drawn up to control animal welfare. The law will affect the use, transport and sacrifice of animals as well as their use in scientific experiments. Until now, responsibility for the protection and welfare of animals had been in the hands of the regions, except in the serious ill-treatment of pets, which was included in the Penal Code in October 2004.
Bank of Spain to Withdraw Excess Bank Notes
Foreign tourists are inundating Spain with small denomination Euro banknotes to the extent that the Bank of Spain is to withdraw 1.36 billion notes from circulation. There are too many 20, 10 and 5 Euros notes in circulation in the country, which have been brought here by the 55.6 million foreign tourists. The bank is to remove 599 million 20 Euro notes, 468 million 10 Euros notes and 294 million 5 Euro notes from circulation. Although tourists tend to be high users of credit cards, they also bring in the smaller notes for use in shops, bars or for taxis.
Bulgarian Thief Apprehended
Police have apprehended one of the country's greatest ATM fraudsters. He was caught with 35,000 Levas that he had stolen from Cash Machines, police managed to apprehend him red-handed after they were tipped off that a man was lurking around. The culprit, known under the alias of The Savage made officers' work easier by not using gloves and leaving fingerprints all over the ATM's.
Malaga 1 - Ponferradina 1
Malaga, under new Manager, Juan Ramon Muniz, has drawn two games and lost one since the beginning of the month: a two all draw against Lorca on 4 November, followed by losing to Real Sociedad 2 - 1 on 8 November with a one all draw last Sunday 12 November against Ponferradina after taking the lead. Malaga's next game is away on Sunday 19 November to Elche, kick off 5.00 pm.
England to Play Spain in Friendly at Old Trafford
England is to play Spain in a friendly on 7 February Old Trafford. The FA announced the match last Thursday, 9 November. It will be the first meeting for the two in England since England won 3-0 at Villa Park in 2001. It will be the 21st game between the two countries at senior level since they first played in 1929, with England winning 11 games and Spain 6.
World Champion Fernando Alonso Made Honorary Legionnaire
Fernando Alonso has been named as an Honorary Legionnaire during a visit to the troops in the Lebanon. He was presented with the honour by General Juan Bautista Garcia Sanchez, who said the driver represented a series of virtues and values with which both the Spanish youth and the legion can identify with.
Shanghai Tennis Open
Spain Suffered a bad start in the Shanghai tennis open with both Rafael Nadal and Tommy Robredo being knocked out in the first round. World number two, Nadal, was knocked out by James Blake, 6-4, 7-6 while Robredo was beaten by Nikolay Davydenko in three sets, 7-6, 3-6, 1-6.
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